Identification and characterization of all-trans-retinoic acid receptor transcripts and receptor protein in human neuroblastoma cells

M. Clagettdame, T. J. Verhalen, J. L. Biedler, J. J. Repa

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38 Scopus citations


Retinoic acid (RA) induces the differentiation of tumor cells of neural origin and may do so by binding to one or more nuclear receptor proteins. We have identified transcripts and nuclear RA receptor (RAR) protein in a clonal line of human neuroblastoma cells that differentiate in response to RA. Prior to any exposure to RA, LA1-15n cells express two transcripts for RARα (~3.6 and ~2.7 kb) as well as low levels of transcript for RARβ (~3.4) and RARγ (~2.8 kb). Exposure of LA1-15n cells to RA leads to the induction of a ~2.9-kb RARβ mRNA, whereas the expression of transcripts for RARs α and γ does not change appreciably. The 2.9-kb RARβ transcript is increased by 4 h (8-fold) and continues to increase for 24-48 h (40- to 60-fold). The RA-associated increase in RARβ mRNA in LA1-15n cells is not diminished by the addition of the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, but is abolished by the addition of the RNA synthesis inhibitor, actinomycin D. In addition to RAR transcripts, LA 1-15n cells contain a nuclear protein with the requisite characteristics of a RAR. The nuclear protein binds all-trans-[3H]RA with high affinity (Kd ~ 0.2 nM). The nuclear protein sediments at ~4S, which is consistent with the molecular mass deduced from RAR cDNAs (~50,000 Da). The nuclear protein is clearly distinguishable from a all-trans-[3H]RA-binding protein found in the cytosolic fraction of LAl-iSa cells. The cytosolic protein sediments at ~2S on sucrose density gradients, consistent with the expected molecular mass of the cellular retinoic acid-binding protein (~16,000 Da). The nuclear [3H]RA-binding protein binds to DNA-cellulose and to the RARβ response element. These results support the hypothesis that RARs are present in human neuroblastoma cells and may be involved in human neuroblastoma cell differentiation. They also demonstrate that RA markedly influences the expression of steady-state levels of mRNA for one of its own receptors, the RARβ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-693
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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